"Schlaf, kindlein, schlaf...
Der Vater hüt die schaf.
Die Mutter schüttelt bäumelein,
Fällt herab ein träumelein."
Her soft voice echoed throughout the dark, cool nursery, meant to lull a baby that was already asleep, the only sound in the otherwise deserted blue and green bedroom. The baby's eyelashes touched his chubby cheeks, and his mother thought he was the most beautiful thing ever. She slowly rocked him side to side, singing under her breath, her tone sweet but also containing another strange, almost eerie, quality. The mother kept singing even though her infant son seemed to be dreaming peaceably already. The baby was cradled securely in her arms, sleeping. Her son was too handsome, too adorable. Adorable enough for others to want him entirely for their own. Adorable enough for lunatics to become completely obsessed with him. Adorable enough for jealous maniacs to try to steal him away from her. That was why her husband and that fake doctor tried to take her baby away from her. They tried to fool her and say Danny was dead. Dimwits. That wasn't possible. Her baby couldn't be dead. She just gave birth to Danny exactly eleven months, two weeks, five days, forty-three minutes, and twenty seconds ago. They could shove as many "evidence" as they want at her, but they couldn't fool her. You couldn't fool a mother. A mother knew things like this about her child. No one could tear her baby away from her. Danny was alive. He was alive. He was right here in her arms, right here. Her little angel was just sleeping soundly, wrapped up all snug in his favorite minty green blanket. Her Danny did look a bit pale, but that was understandable, considering that he was fighting tooth and nail against the disease that had been ravaging his body for the past week. All that mattered in the world to the mother was that Danny made it. Her little one was amazing. He couldn't be dead. Her baby just recovered. His skin was cooler now. Danny was going to be okay. He can sleep as long as he wanted. He needed it. He deserved it. No matter what they tried to do, what they said, she never let them take him away. He was her child, her baby. Her precious little one.
Just sleep. I'll keep you safe. I will protect you, Danny. Always.
If he grew hungry, she could always move the bookcase out of the way, go out, and warm a bottle up. Although, it's a bit strange. Usually, he would be hungry by now. He would whine for milk in five hour intervals. It was probably because he just recovered from his fever. He wouldn't be hungry so soon. For now, she would just sing to Danny the lullaby he loved so much. The young woman remembered the night she first sang that German song. Danny gave her the sweetest smile and fell asleep instantly. That's why, starting from that evening, she would lull him to sleep every night with that lullaby.
Suddenly, a gentle knock sounded on the door, interrupting the mother's thought process.
"Eleanor?" a worried, masculine voice murmured softly through the barricaded door, a bit hesitant, afraid to scare her. Eleanor was such a fragile, fragile person. He felt that if he was too loud, too rough, she would break right before his eyes. She had numerous, way too many, triggers. She was so breakable.
Eleanor turned her back to the door, careful not to wake the baby in her arms, ignoring the man as she continued to sing, making her way to the boarded window, as far away as possible from the door, stepping over the various colorful toys on the baby blue carpet, starting a circular course around that area. That was her husband, Pierre. Even though he told her so many times that he loved her, he was one of those horrible, unforgivable people who tried to steal her baby. He lied to her. He lied to her. Pierre tried to take Danny away. He was jealous of her beautiful baby. He was jealous that she loved the child more than him. He wanted to separate them. Pierre knew that Danny loved her more and he couldn't handle it. He tried to take Danny away. If Pierre truly loved her, he wouldn't tell her that Danny was dead. He wouldn't try to take her life, her child, away. Danny wasn't dead. That bastard lied to her. He even brought in that doctor, an old friend of his. They said he died of a fever. However, her Danny wasn't dead. He couldn't be dead. He was just born eleven months, two weeks, five days, forty-six minutes, and thirty-five seconds ago. He couldn't die so soon. Her precious little baby couldn't be dead. He was too young. Entirely too young to die.
"Schlaf, kindlein, schlaf... Schlaf, kindlein, schlaf..."
"Eleanor, please open the door. It's been three days. Please come out," Pierre pleaded softly but urgently, his face pressed against the white door, his knees aching from kneeling on the wooden floor since Eleanor trapped herself and the body in the nursery room. His muscles had stiffened up and his joints were locked in place, but nothing hurt more than seeing his wife like this. For her, he would give up his pride. She wouldn't come out. Not even for her favorite chocolate shortcake topped with strawberries cut into stars. She refused to eat or drink anything. She wouldn't even sleep. She just kept singing that lullaby over and over again, singing to someone who couldn't hear her anymore. A baby that would never hear her again. Their son had died three days ago because of a fever. Eleanor hadn't wanted to go to the hospital, saying she didn't trust those crazy whack jobs. The day Danny stopped breathing, Eleanor screamed, going on a rampage, throwing everything within her reach to the floor. No matter how much he tried to restrain her, in her insane fury─yes, Pierre understood and accepted that she was mentally ill, he had known for a while, but the poor man never had the heart to send her away─she always broke free of his grasp. After the fourth time that happened, she crumpled to the floor, sobbing her eyes out. After ten minutes, she jumped up, screaming and attacking whatever was in front of her. Suddenly, she froze of her own accord in the middle of her frenzy. She glanced at the baby lying in his crib and, in a heartbeat, composed herself. Eleanor glided across the room, quickly picked him up, and cuddled him close, apologizing for being so noisy. It frightened Pierre that Eleanor was talking to their son's corpse as if he was still alive. He did love Daniel, but he had understood and resigned himself to realize─what Eleanor refused to comprehend, let alone accept─that the child was gone. She said the baby needed to sleep, that babies needed lots of shut-eye, just before she began to sing the lullaby. A lullaby Pierre taught her so many years ago. He could hear her through the door. Pierre would always hear her voice no matter where she was. He would always see her whether she was here or not. To this day, the way she sang that song, the way she was still singing it now, it chilled him to the bone.
"Sleep, baby, sleep...
Thy father tends thy sheep.
Thy mother shakes the dreamland tree,
And from it falls a dream for thee."
Eleanor kept pacing around the room, rocking her baby gently, singing. The mother smiled at her child and hugged him a little tighter. Eleanor would never let anyone take her child away from her. She would never let those creeps get their grubby paws on her baby. She'll protect him at all costs. Therefore, she had no intention to walk out of this safe haven. If she stayed in here, no one can do anything to them. No one could get in. No one can touch her baby. This was their own little world. No one else was here. They were safe here.
Pierre, the poor man, wouldn't leave her. He couldn't. His life was in that locked room. Those legs of his wouldn't move an inch from this door even if he wanted to. His heart wouldn't listen to what his sensible mind had been trying to tell him for years. He would stay at the door until Eleanor came out. Even though he knew he should call the police for Eleanor's own good, he wouldn't, couldn't. The moment she looked at him sweetly, he was under her control. Pierre couldn't deny his beloved anything, especially if he had the means to give it to her. When Eleanor smiled, his heart smiled along with her. He couldn't leave her. He couldn't imagine hurting her in any situation. Pierre leaned his head against the smooth wood of the door separating him from Eleanor, his eyes squeezing shut. They would be chained here until they die because neither of them was willing to go. He didn't dare cry or utter another sound, for fear of upsetting Eleanor, as her melodious voice slid through the crack at the bottom of the door, carrying that lullaby.
"Sleep, baby, sleep... Sleep, baby, sleep..."
The lyrics and translation of the lullaby were what my music teacher gave me a few years ago. I think there's more of it, but this was all she taught us.
I'm not sure if this is horror, but I don't know where else I should put it.